Though Italian cuisine might not seem a likely candidate for the small-plates approach, Italian dining in America has been moving away from big bowls of pasta in red sauce to a more traditional, multiple-course approach. St. Louis is catching on to this, if slowly. Consider the new Maplewood restaurant Acero, where you can easily build a terrific meal out of antipasto platters and smaller portions of pasta.
You might try something similar at La Gra.
Would it be a success, though? Check back here tomorrow -- or flag down an RFT van and demand a hard copy -- as I review the new Dogtown restaurant La Gra Italian Tapas.